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UN seeks more Nepali female peacekeepers

Visiting UN Under Secretary General Khare makes a call to increase the numbers of both female officers and those in lower ranks in peacekeeping jobs

August 31, 2016: A senior UN official has requested Nepal to increase female participation in peacekeeping operations in line with the target of the United Nations to have more women in the mission globally.

In a meeting with Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Tuesday, visiting UN Under Secretary General Atul Khare made the call to increase the numbers of both female officers and those in lower ranks in peacekeeping jobs, according to Bharat Raj Paudyal, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry.

Among the troops contributing nations, Nepal ranks sixth with 4,365 personnel, including 96 female soldiers, serving in several war-affected countries.

Khare also took up the matter with Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Rajendra Chhetri.

The UN has set a target of increasing female participation to 20 percent, from the current 7 percent, of the total number of peacekeepers.

Minister Mahat is said to have responded positively to the demand, stating that the fame earned by Nepali peacekeepers globally was a matter of pride for Nepal.

Initially, Nepal sent only Army personnel to peacekeeping operations. Now Nepal Police and Armed Police Force also send their battalions to assist the global body in keeping order in troubled countries.

Since 1958, more than 110,700 Nepal Army personnel have served in UN peacekeeping missions.